Friday, April 4, 2014

Erik Person, Swedish Immigrant (52 Ancestors, week 13)

Erik Person > John Erickson > Daniel Erickson

Erik Person was born to Per Persson and Marit Ersdotter in Fryksände Parish, Utterbyn, Sweden on March 19, 1841. He married Juliana Persdotter on December 21, 1874 in Sweden. The couple lived in Borgsjö Parish, Sweden where their six children were born.

Brothers, Nels Utterberg and Erik Person
reunited after many years
The first family member that came to America and Minnesota was Erik’s brother, Nels Persson. Nels took the last name of "Utterberg,” from his home town when he joined the Swedish army. Around 1882, Nels came to Minnesota where he purchased a farm in French Lake, Minnesota.  About 10 years later, Nels arranged Erik’s children, John, Erik Conrad and Anna, to come to Minnesota. After working a few years to raise money, John purchased a farm in French Lake and sent for the rest of his family. Erik and Julia, along with children Edward, Julia and Ella, came to French Lake in 1897.

The 1900 census shows Erik and Julia (listed as Erickson) with their children John, Edward and Ella. Erik and John own the farm, the same farm that is still in the Erickson family. Erik’s brother, Nels and his family are the next farm on the census.

When Erik first came to Minnesota, he joined the Grace Lutheran Church. In 1898, Immanuel Lutheran Church was started, on property next to the Person/Erickson farm. While his son John continued to worship at Grace, Erik was one of the early families involved in the new congregation. In the early 1900s, Erik served as the first Sunday School Superintendent.

As often seen in my Scandinavian ancestors, Erik’s name has been recorded a variety of different ways: Erik, Eric and Erick; Person, Persson, Pearson, even Erickson (the last name used by his children).
Erik died on April 6, 1930 at the home of his son John and was buried 2 days later at Grace Lutheran Cemetery. 4 and 5 generations later, the name of “Erick” and “Erickson” are still popular in the French Lake area.

Sources: census records from Ancestry; newspaper, death records and church records from Cokato Museum; Erickson family records; Annandale History Club articles from


  1. Hi Nellie, thanks, so much for your blog. This information was very helpful to me.... I was directed here by Danelle, another user and a "DNA matched" cousin. I am a direct descendant of Anna Erickson, mentioned in your blog. She is my Great Grandmother. What a great story of how she emigrated to America. Thank you for the post! Kurt Schieding.